Armor Up with Oklahoma City Firefighter & retired Major Chris Fields

By Chris Fields

I learned a lot of important things in 31 years in the Fire Service to keep myself, my guys and girls protected so we can all go home.  It wasn’t until about my 24th year did I learn what I feel was the most important thing, something that saved my life, my family, and my career. I learned that it was OK to ask for help!!  People call us heroes; we say we are just doing our job. Whatever we choose to call it, we can’t be heroes or do our job for everybody else until we first do our job (be Heroes) taking care of ourselves and our families. There has always been such a stigma among the Fire Service, really all first responders about mental health. Stigma is defined as a mark of disgrace associated with a particular circumstance, quality, or person.  It happens all too often with 1st responders as it did in my situation that we wait until there is a crisis before we reach out for help, sometimes forced to get help. I know it was that feeling of disgrace that kept me from reaching out, like I couldn’t handle my job, I couldn’t be the protector if I admitted  I needed help.

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California Dreaming…

Safe Call Now was off to Palmdale, CA this week to visit with Cycles of Change and met with an incredible staff.  What struck me immediately was their CEO Joseph Hunter, M.A. and his view on life, how he prepares his staff and how that translates to providing the most outstanding services to our first responders and their family members.  What really sets them apart is their ability to focus on healing the entire family and not just the impacted client.  He’s right, if the whole system isn’t treated it will break down again.  Their unique multiple modalities of treatment demonstrates to me that they’re not a “one size fits all” type of therapy and that the individual is truly placed first.  Clinical staff relates to clients on a “human” level which is a special gift in this arena.  They have dedicated facilities specific for first responders in California and have an office in Las Vegas as well.

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Armor Up! The places we go, the people we meet & the lives we save…

Safe Call Now headed into the week working with Jay Dobyns to launch his “Catching Hell” national training series as multiple requests from around the country are coming in asking for this specific training as well as the award winning “Emotional Body Armor” series. Illinois, Wyoming, Texas, Washington, Kentucky, New Mexico, Arizona, Oregon, Connecticut and Oklahoma all made formal inquires this week.

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